ICSD Violates its own Code of Ethics

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The International Committee of Sport for the Deaf is violating its own Code of Ethics by continuing to employ staff contrary to item 51.57 of the ICSD Code of Ethics.

According to the ICSD Code of Ethics:

51.57 An employee at the ICSD Secretariat must not be an active athlete or hold a governing position within an ICSD Member.

And according to the ICSD Constitution:

11.3 The Chief Executive Officer leads the Secretariat and manages the day-to-day activities of ICSD. She/he represents ICSD and the Executive Board in all day-to-day business affairs and in all proceedings and negotiations of all types against authorities and courts.

Brief summary of the issue in this post

The Current CEO is Dmitry Rebrov who has been in post now for some time despite severed breaches of the ICSD Code of Ethics especially clause 12.17 by fraudulently falsifying an athlete’s audiograms and having been found guilty by a court of law.

The Current code of Ethics were approved by ICSD members at the 48th Extraordinary Congress on 29th November 2021.

On August 23rd 2022, Rebrov was elected President of OSFSG LLC the All-Russian Sports Federation of Sports for the Deaf. Whilst remaining in post as ICSD CEO, he is violating code 51.57. See website

The newly appointed President Adam Kosa has proudly declared that the ICSD is now getting its affairs in order to comply with IOC requirements for improved governance. Perhaps now is the time for him to review his staffing situation before tries to convince the IOC?

Whilst he is doing that, he should also remind himself of ICSD Code of Ethics 51.50 and ensure that both himself and Vice President of World Sport Yutaka Osugi no longer hold governance positions in other ICSD member organisations.

ICSD Ignores the ban on Russian and Belarussian officials

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Two Big Ears raises the question about the appointment of a Russian citizen as TD for orienteering

ICSD have just announced the latest list of ICSD Technical Directors for Deaf sports.

We draw your attention to the continued appointment of the TD for Orienteering who is a Russian citizen.

This post is not questioning the competency of the TD themselves, they are capable of their job.

We are questioning the lack of judgement and consistency of ICSD decision making with regards to the ban of Russian and Belarussian athletes and officials from international sport.

We assume that ICSD orienteering is run under the rules of the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) and according to the IOF website:

“Can a IOF Event Advisor from Russia/Belarus be appointed as an Event Advisor for an event in another Federation?” The answer is “No”.

The role of an ICSD Technical Director operates in the capacity of an ‘Events Advisor’ to the organising committee of the ICSD Deaflympics and World Championships.

We suggest that the ICSD member countries should ask the ICSD Legal Commission to review this appointment and satisfy the international Deaf community that it is operating within the parameters of the international ban and it’s own commitments and obligations to that ban.

Screenshots of the IOF website are available below

Making sure that ICSD is Inclusive

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Two Big Ears responds to a reader comment that the political views of the ICSD leadership might not be inclusive and suggest what needs to happen.

Commenting our our last post (What can Deaf sports expect from the new ICSD Leadership? ) one of our readers was concerned about ICSD not being inclusive enough:

“I am mostly worried about inclusiveness with Kosa at the wheel. Him coming from an extremist right wing party, voting against inclusive policies/laws to promote LGBTQIA+-rights don’t speak for his position as leader, to be honest. Maybe the board of ICSD needs to be as diverse as possible before being able to make any differences in the international Deaf sports atmosphere” Two Big Ears Reader.

There are no subtitles to this video, it is a BSL translation of this post.

This reader’s comment of concern regarding the political affiliations and voting decisions of the ICSD leaders elected to represent deaf athletes is a very important subject. All organisations must decide what and whom they represent and protect. As in the case against Russia and Belarus, not all countries voted to, or agreed with the decision to ban these two nations from international competitions, but the majority have and therefore the motion was passed.

In the case of the recent elections to choose the new leadership of the ICSD, the evidence presented to the floor came from the candidates themselves, through their personal statements and attached letters of support. It was then up to the representatives of each country to decide whether or not they had the full information available to them, if not, they were free to carry out their own due diligence to help them come to a decision. Who knows, perhaps some delegates were already aware of the political affiliations and beliefs of all those elected and then cast their votes accordingly. 

The final point made by our reader highlights the need for greater diversity within the organisation, Congress has elected both men and women into positions of responsibility. Its not perfect, there is always more that could be done to address the balance. From what we already know about the political history of the ICSD and the barriers that limit Deaf people’s access to information and human rights, it would be fair to assume that many decision makers in the various levels and roles within the global ICSD framework do not adhere to nor uphold the concepts of inclusion, equality and diversity.

Let’s hope that those who have been elected remember always that they do not work FOR Kosa they work WITH him as an EQUAL and with all their other Executive colleagues who have been elected. If there are acts of discrimination by anyone affiliated to ICSD (officials, staff, technical directors, coaches and athletes etc) then it is expected that this will be called out for what it is and dealt with appropriately. 

Finally, the responsibility for electing the ICSD leadership is in the hands of those who vote at Congress (the national Deaf sport federation officials). Perhaps after reading this post, you want more information about the elections and how your national representatives voted. If you are a member of their organisations, you have a right to ask questions and be satisfied that Deaf sport leaders, all over the world are all practicing diversity, inclusion and equity in their approach to the development of Deaf sport.

As always, we respond to comments, questions etc from our readers – share your views with us here

What can Deaf sports expect from the new ICSD Leadership

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Two Big Ears examines what’s inside the in-tray of the new leadership at ICSD and what are members expecting to happen.

The recent ICSD Congress in September 2022 elected a new governing board which is now led by President, Adam Kosa (Hungary) & Vice President World Sports, Yutaka Osugi (Japan).

ICSD President Adam Kosa

Members have banked on Kosa’s relevant experience as a Deaflympian, Member of the European Parliament and board member of the Hungarian Paralympic Committee to bring a steady, diplomatic and stable leadership to ICSD which has endured almost 10 years of unsteadiness, tactlessness and unpredictability.

There is an expectation that Kosa and Osugi will request an opportunity to meet with the International Paralympic Committee and discuss opportunties for positive partnerships and a closer relationship. Unlike the previous elected incumbent Rukhledev whose opinion was to stay away from the IPC and expect them to come running to his door.

We are already witnessing signs of professionalism and orderliness coming from the Secretariat, issuing notices for elections to the various Commissions (Anti-Doping, Audiology, Legal, Sports and Women in Sport). Information about the opening hours of business and best times for communications.

They have written decisive and timely reminders to International Deaf Sports Federations that due to the war in Ukraine, Belarusian athletes, coaches and managers are not permitted to compete in ICSD sanctioned events, Deaflympics and World Championships. It would appear that some organisers have still not understood the ‘news’ and have needed to be told twice.

Perhaps Kosa and Osugi can explain why they have decided to hold on to Dmitry Rebrov as CEO despite being guilty of one of the worst acts of Deaf sport criminality; the falsification of athletes audiograms in order to get them banned from European competitions.

There is also a high expectation that the 2025 Summer Deaflympics will benefit from the legacy of hosting Olympic/Paralympics in 2020 and the leadership of Osugi who has been a prominent leader in Japanese Deaf sport for two decades. Will Kosa and his team ensure that the games have a solid backing by government ministries, sound financials and that nothing is left to the last minute – which has been the norm by ICSD with very few exceptions. The Games will also give ICSD the opportunity to celebrate the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the Deaflympic Games in 2024.

That’s all for the short term, but what is Kosa’s vision for the long term? Perhaps you, our Big Ears readers might like to make comments below?

Japan Withdraws Its Entire Team from the Summer Deaflympics

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With five days still remaining at the Summer Deaflympics in Brazil, Japan has decided to ‘abstain from all competitions‘ in order to prevent a spread of Covid-19 infections amongst everyone involved with the games and the local population.

Writing to the ICSD and all its members, the Japanese officials have explained that with their experience of hosting the 2021 Olympics and Paralympics, Japan incurred additional expenses to accommodate all its athletes and officials in single rooms and hired all their own private transport to move from hotels to training and competition venues. Furthermore, each of their sports team were isolated from each other to avoid any potential cross-sport infections.

Despite all these additional precautions, 10 of their athletes and one official are currently self- isolating after producing positive PCR tests. Japan is complaining that countermeasures against Covid-19 at sports venues is inadequate and that the number of Japanese athletes infected and the number of last minute withdrawal of athletes from other countries (for reasons unknown) suggest that there is likely to be a further increase of infection amongst those attending the games. To encourage people to participate, the organisers ensured that PCR checks/tests would be carried out on arrival at the airport to separate and isolate those who were infected, according to Japan, this did not take place.

They have written an official protest letter to ICSD and the host organising committee to complain that:

  1. ICSD and the Organising Committee failed to fulfil their responsibilities to implement Covid-19 measures
  2. ICSD and the Organising Committee did not carry out PCR test on participants
  3. Japan should not be fined for late mass withdrawal from competitions
  4. ICSD shall instruct its members not to discriminate or exclude anyone on the grounds of Covid-19

The final complaint was made because Italy’s volleyball team asked their opponents Japan to prove that their athletes had tested negative for Covid-19 without themselves being subject to the same testing. Italy apologised to Japan when they realised the discriminatory nature of their demands.

Japan concluded that due to ICSD and the organisers not having enough money to provide countermeasures, the games will be remembered as a Games of Fear.

All the above information was obtained from official Japanese letters on 11th May 2022.

ICSD Calls for Peace but their challengers will not back away.

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Its has been a week since the ICSD called for peace ahead of the 2021 Summer Deaflympics in Brazil and many are wondering what is happening about its Russian staff and the ongoing Court case.

The ICSD Board met on 5 March and in solidarity with their Ukraine members, agreed to follow the IOC, IPC and demands from its own members by banning all athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus from invitations or taking part in any international competitions on the ICSD calendar until further notice.

This years Summer Deaflympics are short on funds due to the number of countries who are not participating.

This decision will have an economic impact on this Summer’s Deaflympic games to be held in Brazil and it has been decided to cancel the Bowling programme because the technical requirements will need a heavy financial commitment which has been lost due to the number of countries who are not sending teams to compete as well as the banishment of Russia and Belarus.

Taipei have written to ICSD to say that it was an ‘unwise’ decision to cancel the bowling because athletes have been preparing for 4 – 4.5 years for the competition and they have requested that the ICSD reconsider its decision.

Meanwhile, National Sports Federations have been consulting with their governments for advice on how they should engage with International Federations which have significant Russian influence in their leadership. The ICSD’s Chief Executive, Dmitry Rebrov is Russian and people have been asking what should be done about his influence on Deaf sport especially due to the fact that he has been found guilty of falsifying audiograms and recently took control of ICSD by preventing the previously elected board from accessing their official ICSD emails and servers.

The ICSD and its CEO are now facing a challenge in court over the validity of the recent Extraordinary Congress in Switzerland where the new board was elected. The latest updates with letters and videos on the court case are available on Facebook.

ICSD Under pressure to take action against the invasion of Ukraine.

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National Federations of Deaf sport are pleading with the ICSD Board to take action against its Russian and Belarusian members. Appeals have also gone out to support Ukrainian athletes.

Yesterday, 3rd March and overnight, after a request for support from the Ukraine Deaf Sports Federation, letters have been sent to the ICSD from national and regional associations including EDSO, Great Britain, Nordic Baltic Federation ( Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden,), Poland and Taiwan urging the ICSD to impose a ban on Russia and Belarus.

Gustavo Perazzolo, ICSD, under pressure to ban Russia and Belarus from international competitions.

Despite condemnation of the invasion from the World Federation of the Deaf, close bonds of the Deaf sports community have been highlighted in expressions of regret that the athletes of Russia and Belarus have to suffer for the actions their governments and heads of state. Lebannon requested that ban should not go ahead because:

“We believe that we should separate the political situations of the world and the sports athletes. it is in our opinion that it is entirely not fair to blame the Russian Deaf athlete for what is happening in Ukraine; the problem is to do with the Russian Government.” (Lebanese Federation of the Deaf)

The ICCD, International Chess Committee of the Deaf, explained why sanctions have to be imposed:

“The Russian and Belarusian deaf athletes have nothing to do with the Kremlin’s decision yet they are tarred with the same brush and face severe consequences. ICCD finds this extremely sad for politics have gotten in the way of deaf sport where there is strong unity between deaf sportsmen. Yet this has to be actioned for the ICSD cannot be exempt from IOC and other sporting authorities.” (ICCD)

Ivan Kulakov, Executive Sport Director of Ukraine Deaf Sport Federation has been sending thanks to those who have shown their support:

“Very grateful for your support for the sanctioning of the occupying countries for the ICSD. We believe that the global deaf community will come to the right conclusion about stopping the war. Sport is a competition between peaceful nations!” (UDSF)

Logo of the Ukraine Deaf Sport Federation

The U-turn of the IPC yesterday to ban Russia and Belarus from the Winter Paralympics was largely a result of pressure from athletes already in the Paralympic village. The ICCD have warned the ICSD not to ignore the situation:

“The ICSD should take into account the Ukraine Deaf Sports Federation’s depleted preparation for the Deaflympics and other major sporting events (chess included). Furthermore, it may seem unlikely that Ukraine will be represented at the Deaflympics; if that is the case, then it would reflect badly on ICSD of both Russia and Belarus are allowed to participate. The would cause uproar from the other ICSD countries.”

The impact on international deaf sport events is already being felt. the European Chess Championships at Cordoba in Spain has been relying on a large number of players from Russia and Ukraine and has now been ‘thrown into chaos’ according to ICCD.

As we wrote earlier this week, Canada is hosting the World Deaf Curling in Banff, Alberta. According to announcements, the Ukrainian curlers have had their entry visas approved and are now on their way to Warsaw to collect he visas and fly out from there. Both the Canadian and Alberta Deaf Sports Associations have agreed to sponsor the expenses of the Ukrainians and they are appealing for donations to support this fund. Any donations can be made by contacting info@albertadeafsports.ca

Deaflympics Taking Place in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil

The official website of the 24th Summer Deaflympics is available at https://www.deaflympics2021.com/

The top three in the medals table so far:

Image taken from http://www.deaflympics2021.com

UK Deaf Sport calls on ICSD and EDSO to show their condemnation of the Invasion of Ukraine.

Today, Great Britain has called on its international bodies of deaf sport to follow the same decisions as the IOC, IPC and other International Sports Federations.

UK Deaf Sport is a member of the EDSO European Deaf Sport Organisation and the ICSD International Committee of Sport for the Deaf.

How will ICSD now follow the IPC and IOC decision making?

Today the IPC announced that Russia and Belarus can compete at the Winter Paralympics as neutral athletes. Whilst no decisions or statements have been made by the Brazilian and Russian-led ICSD. It is anyone guess which way they will move.

In a statement today, the International Paralympic Committee have announced that the RPC and NPC Belarus will participate as neutrals at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. They will compete under the Paralympic flag and not be included in the medal table.

The IPC will host an Extraordinary General Assembly in 2022 “to vote on whether to make compliance with the Olympic Truce a membership requirement and whether to suspend or terminate membership of the Russian and Belarus Paralympic Committees”.

The IPC will not hold any events in Russia or Belarus until further notice.

The ICSD has yet to make a statement, its CEO and staff are Russian, based in Moscow and the registered office is in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The ICSD and IPC presidents are both Brazilian and it is quite possible that ICSD’s Gustavo may follow Andrew Parsons (IPC) and be influenced by the ICSD CEO to go gentle on Russia and Belarus. Brazil are due to host the 2022 Summer Deaflympics in May.

Alisher Usmanov has stepped down as President of the International Fencing Federation, after the European Union imposed economic sanctions on him over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The World Curling Federation has removed the European Championships from Russia. World Athletics, FIFA and International Biathlon Union are amongst sports who have imposed bans.

The global Deaf community has been vocal about the invasion of Ukraine, the World Athletics and Federation of the Deaf has shown its solidarity and support to the Ukraine Federation of the Deaf.

Helga Stevens, former European Member of Parliament commented on social media that she is curious to see what ICSD will do after the world of sport has joined forces to stand by Ukraine. She hopes that ICSD will follow the examples set by the IOC and IPC.

As far as we can see, as we go to press, there have been no statements or decision making from any of the ICSD regional federations, their national members nor associate members.

Comments have been made on social media that the ICSD has been removing comments and posts that mention the invasion on Ukraine.